Whole Wheat Bread

Whole Wheat Bread

I thought that there was a serious dearth of bread recipes on divinetaste and that's why I'm here today to share with you the recipe for a loaf of bread, which also happens to be one of the most requested recipes in my recipe request folder. I must confess though that I'm partial to Indian unleavened flat breads which also happens to be more suitable to my Ayurvedic style of cooking.

But one can't deny the satisfaction and comfort that a loaf of bread brings and with both my men my husband and my son being bread lovers, I wouldnt want to escape baking bread. I wanted a simple whole wheat bread with simple ingredients and particularly without honey as according to Ayurveda when honey is heated or cooked it produces toxins in the body and so as a rule I never bake or cook with it, only using it in its raw form or mixing it into ingredients at room temperature.

Baking is therapeutic to many but baking bread at home gives a certain degree of salubrity to one's being. And that's precisely what I felt when I saw my bread rise!

Since this is a 100% whole wheat bread it is dense yet soft and has that artisanal bread feel. You can't expect this to be like your regular supermarket loaf and if you are looking for something like that then I would suggest you to replace the whole wheat flour with plain flour.

Copious volumes and compendiums have been written about the simple art of baking bread, which much like pie making makes it look like a daunting task. After going through volumes of such masterpieces, I have come to realize that as far as you are aware of a few simple rules you are good to go and you can turn out a satisfying loaf of bread, one after another!

  1. The right variety and good quality flour needs to be used.
  2. Use the right amount of yeast. A little more and your bread will have that yeasty smell and a little less and your bread wont rise at all.
  3. The dough needs to be kneaded well, until smooth and elastic for the proper texture of the bread.
  4. The dough needs to rest and double in size before baking. This happens twice depending on the recipe.
  5. The dough needs to be covered well, preferably with a damp cloth during the second rise to prevent a skin forming over it.
  6. The oven needs to be pre heated and hot before you put in your prized possession in it.

One person who wanted this recipe was my sister whose birthday it was yesterday. I made this lovely focaccia bread for her last year but unfortunately we could not be together this year. This post also happens to be a gift to my lovely sister who motivates and inspires me and brings so much positive energy in my life!

Whole Wheat Bread Recipe

I have shaped this dough into a loaf but you could also shape them into rolls. For a lighter texture use 50% whole wheat flour and 50% plain flour.


375 ml (1 1/2 cups) lukewarm water

1 tbsp brown sugar

1 tsp instant yeast (or 1 1/2 tsp active dry or 3 tsp fresh yeast)

420 gm ( 3 cups) whole wheat flour

1 tsp salt

1 tbsp ghee, butter or vegetable oil of your choice

sesame seeds for sprinkling (optional)


Place the lukewarm water in a bowl and stir in the brown sugar. Sprinkle the yeast over it and leave the bowl undisturbed for about 10 minutes until frothy.

In a stand mixer or food processor or a bowl if kneading the bread by hand, combine the flour and salt. (If using a stand mixer use the paddle attachment.)

Pour in the fat of your choice and the yeast mixture and knead for about 8 to 10 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic. Depending on the quality of the flour you might have to use a few spoons of extra water to get a smooth and soft dough. (If using a stand mixer use the dough hook for kneading). If you are kneading the dough by hand then use the heel of your palm and knead the dough on a clean counter top or any flat surface.

Place the rolled dough in an oiled mixing bowl and coat the dough with oil. Allow to rise in a warm spot for 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until double in size.

After the dough has risen, punch it down using your fist and knead it lightly for a couple of minutes.

Shape the dough into a loaf (or rolls) and place the loaf in an oiled loaf tin. Cover it with a clean wet napkin or a plate and allow to rise again for about 30 to 45 minutes or until doubled in size.

Pre heat the oven to 200C/390F.

When the dough rises brush it with milk, sprinkle with the optional sesame seeds, place in a hot oven and cook for about 30 minutes or until golden brown on the top. The bread should sound hollow when tapped.

Allow the bread to rest in the tin for about 10 minutesbefore inverting it into a cooling rack to cool.

Cut into slices when the bread is cool and use it plain, toasted or grilled.

Makes one loaf

Shaping Bread Dough Into A Loaf

1. After the dough has risen, punch the dough with your fist and gather it into a round ball, briefly kneading it. Then shape the dough into a rectangle, approximately the size of the bread tin you are using.

2. Fold the rectangle half way through and tuck the part where it joins inside the seams with the heel of your palm.

3. Now turn the horizontally placed dough into a vertical position or at an angle of 90 degrees.

4. Roll the dough starting from the top and proceed downwards, all the while tucking the dough inside the seams.

5.Flatten the edges and place the shaped dough inside an oiled tin.




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67 thoughts on “Whole Wheat Bread

  1. yay….. whole wheat bread…. i am loving it…… u wont believe the trouble i went thro just 3 days ago to source a do-able recipe….found one and tried it out with my heart in my mouth…. was resigned to the fact that if it turned out hard would just use it to go bowling with( had tried it as buns).. luckily it turned out ok…. but am definitely trying ths one out….. and soon….. have this no-maida policy on at home at present . can i add herbs to this bread…. fresh or dried?

  2. A lovely presentation! 🙂 Can you please tell me if you baked in an OTG or a convection? I find that even after doing everything right, the texture just does not come out right when I bake the bread in a convection oven..

  3. Looks really nice. I will try this today Anu. I'm absolutely terrified of baking because whenever I've tried something, it has come out horrible. But your recipe looks manageable 🙂

  4. Hi Anushruti
    Looks lovely. The steps you ve mentioned and the pictures about placing the dough in the loaf are very helpful. I have recently taken to baking bread at home with ok results. But i guess practice makes this art perfect! In the past i had disappointing results when i made bread, mainly due to confusions on yeast types and measurements . Also, i have come to learn that instant yeast is what am most comfortable with.
    One question on this recipe about yeast quantity. You have mentioned 1 tsp of instant yeast which is 5 gms i believe for 420gm of flour. But the instant yeast envelope i buy refers to 7 gms to be used for every 500gms of flour. In such a case do you think i should follow the proportion mentioned on the yeast package?

  5. Renu: Let me know how you like this bread. You could add herbs…but if you want to a herbed bread you might want to check out my other bread recipes, bread rolls or focaccia replacing the maida with whole wheat flour.

    Simi: Sure!

    Kavita: It really doesnt matter which type of oven, the recipe maters though. I baked in a convection, but a firend bakes in an OTG with superb results!

    Preeti: Hope you like it!

    Chinmayie: I guess the trick is to have a soft pliable dough. Even an extra spoon of water matters!

    Shruti: Each recipe is different. This yeast proportion works here. You could try either! All the best.

  6. Thanks Anushruti for this recipe esp. for the mention of honey in baking. Every so called health blogs or food blogs fashionably declare honey in baking. Its simple science of breaking of enzymes. Your pizza / focaccia is our dinner tonight.

  7. So after a long break comes a yummy treat.I hope you are doing fine now.I tried strawberry jam and it was out of the world.waiting for mangoes to arrive and vl make mango jam then.can I bake this bread in microwave on convection mode?? Bread is something we oftenly have in breakfast and if that is homemade u vl have satisfaction that u had wholewheat bread instead of maida one.Thnz for such wonderful recipe. Looking fwd for more n frequent recipes.

  8. Hi Anushruti,

    The bread is very tempting and I would love a slice of it every day as my husband has also shunned refined flour for health reasons. I've tried working with yeasts 2-3 times in past but everytime, my dough didn't rise. I've used instant yeast locally avbl & even by Blue Bird but all those attempts were a waste of time, energy & money. Just to clarify I did test the yeast before using.

    It would be really nice if you could share the brand of the yeast you used for this bread and from where did you procure. I am planning to be in Bombay next week, so I will surely buy it from there if it's around where I would be staying.

  9. Great! I'm still looking for that elusive go-to recipe for wholewheat bread. Let's hope this is it. Thanks for sharing!

  10. Madhavi: You are so right! Enjoy your dinner!

    Ruchika: Thanks for your feedback! I never use a microwave for baking so I'm sorry I can't guide you on that.

    Deepali: Looks like what you have tried is active dry yeast which is very different from instant yeast which is not easily available. I use mauripan yeast available in continental store in crawford market Mumbai.

    Noodlehead: I hope this is it too. Await your feedback!

  11. I totally agree with you Anu that bread baking is therapeutic…and watching the loaf rise is such an amazing feeling and has to be experienced first hand…beautiful loaf and is baked with wholewheat too..loving it!

  12. Hi
    I am a regular reader of your blog and love all your recipes.I have a doubt in this recipe though. When you say whole wheat flour, is it the regular store bought atta or do we mill any particular kind of wheat.

  13. Sanjeeta: And trust me the joy is doubled when it is healthy and whole wheat! 🙂

    Harini: Awesome! Glad that you liked it!

    Veena: I used regular atta or organic whole wheat flour. You could use any store bought atta or whole wheat flour too.

  14. Hi Anushruti,

    I loved the pictorial on the folding of the dough before placing it in the tin loaf pan. Lovely pics as usual. There is definitely a wonderful feeling inside when you accomplish this art of baking a loaf! Its science and art in one smooth motion isnt it? Enjoy the aroma of baked bread at home!

  15. I made this yesterday and am happy to report that it's all gone today! The bread was really moist my 5yo couldn't get enough of it. Looks like I found my go-to WW bread recipe after all. Thanks so much!

  16. Shoba: True!

    renu: I havent tried it but I think it should work and give you 2 to 3 pizza bases depending on the size of your pizza.

    Noodlehead: That's great! All the efforts that went into putting this up seems to have got its reward!

  17. Anushruti,
    Agree with you about the feel good factor of bread baking at home! It is precious.
    I make my breads with whole wheat chapathi atta too, without honey for the exact same reason that you mentioned. The taste is irreplaceable, though I would still like the texture to be better. 100% whole wheat comes with its own density. But, knowing that the texture may not come exactly like the way a store bought bread might be is something I need to make peace with!

  18. Hi Anu,

    Made this over the weekend…the whole house was filled with the distinct fragrance of bread…Wooowwww…cant describe the experience…

    I was trying my hand at this for the first time…and it came out purrrrrfect!!!
    Thanks a ton!!!


  19. Hi Anushruti,
    Hope you are well.
    I just wanted to thank you for the whole wheat bread recipe.
    I made it today and it has come out lovely.

  20. I must try this out next week – maybe tuesday since its a holiday. will let u know

    thanks for sharing!

  21. After making this bread a couple of times, I can confidently say that my search for the perfect homemade WW bread has ended. I appreciate the simplicity of this bread that is made with readily available ingredients..No vital gluten, bread softener etc!
    Thank you for sharing a wonderful recipe

  22. Hi there!

    I really like your recipe and illuestrated steps very much. Can you pls tell the exact measurements of the loaf pan? Is it 8 1/2" x 4 1/2"?

    Many thanks!

  23. Hey Anushruti! Great recipe 🙂 I've already tried it twice and the bread always comes out soft and moist, unlike most other wheat bread recipes that I've tried. However, I've noticed that the dough is extremely sticky and very difficult to work with. It sticks everywhere – to my hands, the counter and I literally have to scrape it off. It definitely doesn't have the same consistency that your dough has in the pictures. I'm measuring everything as mentioned in your recipe to the T.
    Can you let me know if that's how the dough is supposed to be?

  24. Eicha: The dough is not supposed to be as sticky as you are mentioning..different wheat flours have varying water absorbing capacities. USe a little extra flour, start with 2 tbsp and make sure the dough doesnt stick to your hands but is still smooth and very elastic.

  25. Dear Anushruti,

    I have been trying to bake bread for a year- and I used your recipe yesterday. It came out perfect. I used 50 percent maida and the bread is soft and tasty. Thanks so much for sharing this recipe.
    (I had tried your focaccia too but since you missed mentioning preheating the oven, I didnt (since I am a novice)- and the recipe bombed! Thanks for this one- I will make this my regular 🙂

  26. Thank you for sharing this recipe. I baked this bread and it came out so well. The bread is very delicious and soft. It was my first time baking bread and I was impressed with the results!

  27. tried out the bread today using a mix of whole wheat flour and maida…. was nice but a bit dense….. feels heavy to chew…. though maida was double of whole wheat flr….. what cld be wrong…?

  28. renu: This is not meant to be a very light bread but at the same time is not as heavy. You can use 100% maida if you want a very light bread. Also, the dough has to be kneaded really well for bread to get the right texture.

  29. I made this last night and it is so delicious! I'm never buying store-bought bread again! Also, so easy to make. This was only my second time baking bread and it came out perfectly. 🙂

  30. hello , the bread looks lovely .i wanted to ask that you added the instant yeast to lukewarm water ,can the instant yeast directly be added to flour??

  31. Hi Ans,

    I was looking out for a great Reece to bake whole wheat at home…..and I tried your recipe and I added maize flour and soya flour to the whole wheat flour with little regular flour…….it tasted great……very soft and it's been two days now……it's still soft and tasty……thank u so much for this wonderful recipe…………..hope u give us some more simple yet tasty receipts like this……

  32. Hello,

    I baked the above recipe for the first time, with the only substitution of 1:1 of WWF:APF just to be on the safer side with the denseness of the loaf. It was a success. Thank you.

    As it is a success, I want to add just grated carrots to the loaf itself, as I intend to use it for savory sandwiches.

    Please, do give your suggestions, for the proportion of carrots to the above recipe and if it would alter the baking temperature/time as well.

    –With best regards,

  33. Devasena: Glad to hear about your success. Nice to hear about your enthusiasm and adventure in the kitchen. You can put in 1/2 cup grated carrot to this recipe.

  34. Hello,

    Success again! I got bit adventurous, and added 1/2 cup of grated carrot, and about 2 Tbsp of finely chopped fresh coriander for a hint of color and 2 tsp, onion powder . Thank you for your encouraging suggestions.

    Though one thing I observed was with a combination of WWF and APF, the 1 1/2 cup of water required as per the above recipe,is more as APF does not absorb water like WWF
    so, I had to add almost 1/2 cup of WWF and 1/2 Tbs of melted butter more, to get the soft, non-sticky, smooth dough as desired, Btw.. I did the dough with my hands, and not employed a food processor, I'm not sure if this also, affects the water retention of the dough.

    Having said, that the baking temperature and time, remained the same resulting in a well baked home-made loaf of bread :-).

    Just, sharing my observations.

    –With best regards,

  35. Wow whole wheat bread looks awesome! Breads are my absolute favourite..Can you please tell where you bought your loaf pan as I am unable to find a right one here in Coimbatore. As my hubby visits Mumbai often, I can ask him to buy me one. Thank you!

  36. I have tried a couple of bread recipes and was looking for a very simple one.
    came across this one of yours! I baked this one yday and it turned out to be one of my best bakes ever! 🙂 This is definitely going to be in my top list for baking always!
    thanks for sharing this recipe Anushruthi!

  37. This receipe looks great and something which we can try at home. I just have one question. What is the size of the loaf pan you are using? a×b×c??

  38. i wanted to knw hw do v knw that v are done with kneading of the dough. if u can put the pics of dough when u make it and after u knead it.
    2ndly hw much gluten powder do v have to use for whole wheat bread as whole wheat flour has less gluten

  39. Hi Anushruti,
    The bread comes out very well as shown in your picture. Even though it is dense it turns out very crumbly. It is so hard to make the slices or even toast it as it just crumbles so easily. Any idea what is going wrong?

  40. […] I started off  baking whole wheat bread in the shape of a loaf as usually  recipes are made in a loaf tin. However, I found that to store, to give away or to eat the whole loaf was a bit overwhelming  and felt that the quantity a bit more for one person to finish.  Hence I now  shape the dough in bun or pav shape. In this recipe I sprinkled  some rolled oats  on the top from the Red mill Organic oats pack  which my sister had left for me. The tiny detail of some sprinkled oats changes  the look of a simple whole wheat bread and makes it healthy with added fibre. I follow this recipe  […]

  41. My husband was travelling outstation for 2 days and doesn't prefer to eat outside if possible. So including other options, I decided to bake some bread which he could carry. I followed your recipe(bless you), replacing wheat with maida. I erred by using same amount of water mentioned in the recipe for wheat flour and ended up with sticky dough. Fortunately I managed to correct it adding more flour and oil. I got a delicious loaf of bread. Perfect crust and spongy. My husband has declared that this is the best loaf(out of 3 attempts in the past). Thank you so much for helping me express my love for my loved ones through feeding them good food.

  42. I went to continental store at crawford market. However they do not have mauripan yeast. They store only one brand-Prime. Has anyone used it?

  43. Anushruti, I visited the Mojo Rainforest Retreat recently, and saw them baking wholewheat bread. In place of yeast, they save the mother dough (or mother culture) each time they bake bread, and add it to the next lot, so it will rise. I have brought some of their mother culture as a starter, in place of yeast. Have you ever tried using this to bake bread? Could you advise me on how much of the starter dough to use with 3 cups of wholewheat, to bake a loaf?

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